A total of 17 members of Jesuit's Class of 2021 placed in the Top 1% of all students nationwide who took the PSAT, and the top three of those 17 were honored Wednesday (Sept. 9) at Convocation as National Merit Semifinalists: Adam Dieck, Max Gonzalez, and Daniel Jung.
English teacher Austin Freeman '02 introduced Dieck, Gonzalez, and Jung, speaking about their dedication to academic excellence, while school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. received them in front of the students in the Chapel of the Holy Cross as well as those students viewing via live stream in homerooms.
The trio of Dieck, Gonzalez, and Jung are among some 45 Jesuit students the past eight years to achieve National Merit Semifinalist recognition. Semifinalists are selected based on the PSAT score, a standardized test administered their junior year.
The qualifying standard on the PSAT for Florida students to be recognized Semifinalists has been raised through the years, and this year it was 218, with both Dieck and Jung scoring 220.
In addition to the three National Merit Semifinalists, 14 others in the Class of 2021 tested in the 99th percentile on the PSAT, the top 1%. They are: Nicholas Asher, John Barreto, Logan Bates, Aidan Dupreez, Eliot Glein, Daniel Hevia, Jason Kwo, Lukas Lehman, Diego Maldonado-Puebla, Hayden Merrill, Joseph Ringewald, Koehler Runkle, Jackson Shembekar, and Alex Wasylik.
The Semifinalists will continue in the pursuit of 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be determined in the spring. Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and earn the Merit Scholar title.
Gonzalez (left), Jung (center), and Dieck are pictured below outside of the Chapel of the Holy Cross with their parents, and below that is a video of their recognition by Freeman during Convocation.